In the essay “Free Minds and Hearts at Work” by Jackie Robinson, he talks about the imperfection of life and there will always be a flaw in life and everyone. “And what is it that I have always believed? First, that imperfections are human.” “Handicaps, stumbling blocks, prejudices-all of these are imperfect.” Jackie Robinson is demonstrating through these examples how there are always going to be things and people that are imperfect in life and that people have to fight through some tough obstacles. “And I believe that society can remain good only as long as we are willing to fight for it-and to fight against whatever imperfections may exist.” He is trying to illustrate how there are always obstacles in your life that will prevent you from become perfect. He is also saying we have to fight against the imperfections and obstacles to try and make this a better place.
Jackie Robinson is like Peekay. They both go through hard times with prejudice. Jackie Robinson was going through prejudice because he was black. Even now when he is older he is the first black Major League Baseball player. “My fight was against the barriers that kept Negroes out of baseball. This was the area where I found imperfection, and where I was best able to fight.” His fight is to help all the other black people to realize they can also do a sport even though there aren’t a lot of people doing it. They may get judged and picked on but they are fighting against imperfection. Peekay is thought to be in the beginning of the book as a weak kid who can’t do anything to the older kids to get them back for bullying him. He also is hated for being a Boer by some kids. Peekay is fighting against racism, discrimination, and prejudice. When he boxes he wants to show how even though he is small and a Boer, he is able to do things better than other people as well and he does this by the power of one. “It was the power of one stirring in me. Nothing Lieutenant Smit said could dampen my spirits. I jumped down from the ring feeling ten feet tall.” He is fighting a guy that is bigger than him and he is small but he uses everything he has learned over the years and used it. Even though he showed them in that match how not to judge him by his size or race, people will still think differently of him than he should be.
This essay relates to my life because I am always judged for the way I look and act when they do not know how I am actually like. I am like Jackie Robinson in a way because when people look at him, they think of him as any ordinary black man. They have never even talked to him and seen him do what he likes. They don’t know how athletic he is and how great he is in baseball. This is like me in a way. When people see me, they think I am ordinary Asian. They imply I am smart at everything, I don’t play sports, and all I do is study. These people don’t even know what I like to do or what I am like. Jackie Robinson fights against this racism by showing the people that black people can be successful. I am currently trying to find what I am good at and help other people.
Monday, February 14, 2011
In the novel The Power of One, Bryce Courtenay demonstrates through mentors that they have a big influence on Peekay. A mentor is a man or woman that guides someone in the right path to success and to help them make great achievements in life.
Hoppie helps him by telling him the secret ingredient to the power of one. “Mix-the-head with-the-heart you’re ahead from-the-start. Mix-the-head with-the-heart you’re ahead from the start, the wheels chanted until my head began to pound with rhythm. It was becoming the plan I would follow for the remainder of my life; it was to become the secret ingredient in what I thought of as the power of one.” “Small can beat big. But remember, you have to have a plan… Remember always, first with the head and then with the heart. Without both, I’m telling you, plans are useless.” Hoppie is helping him through his fight and teachings of what is thought to be as the power of one. The power of one is suppose to help Peekay in his life. Everything Hoppie is teaching him is giving him hope and helping him fight obstacles in his life. In the second quote, this is describing what Peekay has to do during his whole life. Both Hoppie and Peekay are small but they are both smart and are able to think of plans. But one thing that Peekay needs is heart. Peekay is scared to show people the real him and doesn’t know what people thinks of him when they find out he’s a Boer. There is one person that gives him hope, Big Hettie
Big Hettie gives him hope before she dies. “You will be a great fighter, I know it,” Instead of saying I care about you, she tells him he is going to be a great fighter which is giving him hope. She is telling him before she dies that she has hope and faith in him and not to give up no matter what the cause is. She also taught Peekay about life. “Peekay, you will be a great welterweight, I know it. You have pride and courage. Remember what I told you about pride and courage? Pride is holding your head up when everyone around you has theirs bowed. Courage is what makes you do it.” She is teaching him to not be arrogant even when he becomes champion. She teaches him also about life in this quote. This is saying that when everyone else wins a match they will bow to the crowd but when he wins a match he will keep his head up. Another meaning of this quote is that even when he loses, she wants him to be proud of what he did. Hoppie and Big Hettie both have great influences on Peekay which will shape his life in the future.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
In the novel The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay, he demonstrates through Hoppie and Peekay what “the power of one” is. “The power of one” is the ability to take on larger objects physically and go through hard times and troubles mentally. Peekay goes through the same thing except mentally. Peekay always gets made fun of his ethnic background and is called names and disrespected. In his training with Hoppie, Peekay is learning to overcome all his troubles and never give up when he sees Hoppie fighting. “His eyes were sad, and he shook his head as he spoke. ‘That’s why you’re going to be the next champ, Peekay, you’ve got the reason.’” This quote gives Peekay hope that even though he has lost Granpa Chook, he still has someone helping him. “The power of one” is also being able to tell everyone who you are without fear and to conquer your fears. “…Mr. Groenewald, I’m just a cerdomede rooinek,” Peekay is afraid that when Hoppie finds out that he is a rooinek he will hate him like everyone else has, but Hoppie tells him that he should be proud of what he is and tells him the story when he lost to a rooinek. Peekay’s allies are Hoppie. “…tonight we are witnessing the great biblical drama of David and Goliath.” Hoppie also has “the power of one” because in this match against Jackhammer Smit, Hoppie is outmatched in size but he does not give up in his times of fighting with him even with the advantages against him. Hoppie also wants to help Peekay. He wants him to be proud of his identity and wants him to be a welterweight contender. Hoppie, another man who bears “the power of one”, wants to show him that he can be better than everyone else and wants him to succeed. During his trip on the train and in the fight, he teaches him skills that will help him like using the brain and mouth as a weapon. “Never forget, Peekay, sometimes, very occasionally, you do your best boxing with your mouth.” Peekay knows that this doesn’t only relate in boxing, but it also can be used in life.
Monday, February 7, 2011
In the book “the power of one” by Bryce Coutenay, he clearly demonstrated through the life of the main character, Pisskop, that people back then were treated and prejudged for who and what they were. This could be shown when the older kids pees on him. “I felt a sudden splash on my neck and assumed it was warm blood trickling over my trembling, naked body and across the cold cement floor and into the drain.” There is also tension between the Judge and jury and Pisskop. The Judge and jury do not like Pisskop because he is English. This hatred for English goes back into history during the Boer war. He is also the only English man in the school which causes all the kids, Judge, and jury to hate him.
Pisskop deals with his cruelty by his nanny and his chicken. One of the ways he sooths his pain is by thinking about his nanny. He recalls about all the things he use to do with his nanny before he was torn away from her. “She was a person made for laughter, warmth, and softness and she would clasp me to her breasts and stroke my golden curls with a hand so large it seemed to palm my whole head.” In the bad, depressing moments, he tries to ignore his surroundings by trying to imagine how much he had fun being with his nanny. One key way he deals with his cruelty was by his chicken, Granpa Chook. Pisskop takes his chicken with him everywhere, even to school. It is his best friend since he has no other friends because he is the only English in the school and everyone hates him. He relies on Granpa Chook to comfort him through his hard times.
The author is trying to teach us in this book to not judge the people by who they are or how they look. “‘Hey, look, there is no hat on his snake!’ someone yelled. They all crowded closer, delighted at this monstrous find.” All the students are laughing at him and calling him names because he was circumcised and everyone else was not. The older kids will also call him Pisskop because they always pee on him to torture him. They also have never talked to him to see how he is like to even give him a chance. Once he goes to school, all he gets is getting made fun of. They also think he is a weak boy because he is not fighting back and he is the only one getting picked on. “I learned that crying is a luxury good adapters have to forgo.” He knows to not cry or else it will show them that he is weak and they will not stop.